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We, the people of the Alabama 'Territory, having the right of admis- Preamble. sion into the general government, as a member of the Union, consistent with the constitution and laws of the United States, by our representatives, assembled in convention at the town of Huntsville, on Monday, the fifth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, in pursuance of an Act of congress, entitled “An Act to enable the people of the Alabama Territory to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of such state into the Union, on an equal footing with the original states ;” in order to establish justice, ensure tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the rights of life, liberty, and property, do ordain and establish the following constitution, or form of government; and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent state, by the name of “ The State of Alabama.” And we do hereby recognize, confirm, and establish the boundaries assigned to said state by the act of congress aforesaid, “ to wit: beginning at the point where the thirtyfirst degree of north latitude intersects the Perdido river, thence, east, to the western boundary line of the state of Georgia; thence, along said line, to the southern boundary line of the state of Tennessee ; thence, west, along said boundary line, to the Tennessee river; thence, up the same, to the mouth of Bear creek; thence, by a direct line, to the north-west corner of Washington county; thence, due south, to the Gulf of Mexico; thence, eastwardly, including all islands within six leagues of the shore, to the Perdido river ; and thence, up the same, to the beginning"-subject to such alteration as is provided in the third section of said act of congress, and subject to such enlargement as may be made by law in consequence of any cession of territory by the United States, or either of them.


Declaration of Rights.

That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare :

Sec. 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are All freemen equal in rights; and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclu- are equal. sive, separate public emoluments or privileges, but in consideration of public services.

Sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free Political governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their people in the

. benefit: and, therefore, they have at all times an unalienable and indefeasable right to alter, reform, or abolish their form of government, in such manner as they may think expedient.

Sec. 3. No person within this state shall, upon any pretence, be Rights of deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to his own conscience; nor be compelled to attend any place of worship; nor shall any one ever be obliged to pay any


not to be in
No person

Freedom of


cused in cri.

tithes, taxes, or other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry.

Sec. 4. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Sec. 5. No person shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasions, provided he does not

disturb others in their religious worship. Civil rights

Sec. 6. The civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen, not aflicted shall in no way be diminished, or enlarged, on account of his religious by religious belief. principles. No establish SEC. 7. There shall be no establishment of religion by law; no ed religione preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society,

denomination, or mode of worship: and no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.

Sec. 8. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his senspeech, &c. timents on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Sec. 9. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures or searches; and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without pro

bable cause, supported by oath or affirmation. Rights of ac Sec. 10. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused has a right to be minal cases. heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the

accusation, and have a copy thereof: to be confronted by the witnesses against him: to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour; and, in all prosecutions, by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offence shall have been committed : he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor shall he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by due course of law.

Sec. 11. No person shall be accused, arrested, or detained, except ascese d,&c. in cases ascertained by law, and according to the forms which the except by

same has prescribed ; and no person shall be punished, but in virtue of a law, established and promulgated prior to the offence, and legally applied.

Sec. 12. No person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded proceeded

against criminally, by information ; except in cases arising in the land and naval forces, or the militia when in actual service, or, by leave of the court, for oppression or misdemeanor in office.

Sec. 13. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in for same of jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any person's property be taken or

applied to public use, unless just compensation be made therefor.

Sec. 14. All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial, or delay.

Sec. 15. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised, except suspended by the general assembly, or its authority. ral assembly. Sec. 16. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines

imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

Sec. 17. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient securities, except for capital offences, when the proof is evident, or the presumption great: and the privilege of the writ of "habeas corpus” shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion, or invasion, the public safety may require it.

No person


Indictable of fences, how


No person

twice tried


Courts to be open, &c.

Laws not

but by gene.

Of bail and fines. Bailable of fences.

facto laws.

from suicide.



my, &c.

Sec. 18. The person of a debtor, where there is not strong pre- Dehtors sumption of fraud, shall not be detained in prison, after delivering up charged. his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19. No ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of No er post contracts, shall be made.

Sác. 20. No person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the No attaints. general assembly. No attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor forfeiture of estate.

Sec. 21. The estates of suicides shall descend or vest as in cases No forfeiture of natural death; if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

Sec. 22. The citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to Assembly of assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.

Sec. 23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of him- May bear self and the state.

Sec. 24. No standing army shall be kept up without the consent Standing arof the general assembly; and, in that case, no appropriation of money for its support shall be for a longer term than one year; and the military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power. Sec. 25. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any Quartering

troops. house, without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 26. No title of nobility, or hereditary distinction, privilege, No titles of honour, or emolument, shall ever be granted or conferred in this state ;

nobility. nor shall any office be created, the appointment of which shall be for a longer term than during good behaviour.

Sec. 27. Emigration from this state shall not be prohibited, nor Emigration. shall any citizen be exiled. Sec. 28. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

Trial by juSec. 29. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defend- Kight of proing any civil cause, for or against him or herself, before any tribunal secuting, &c. in this state, by him or herself, or counsel.

Sec. 30. This enumeration of certain rights shall not be construed Enumerato deny or disparage others retained by the people: and to guard tights. against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the high powers herein delegated, we declare, that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall for ever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.



Distribution of Powers. Sec. 1. The powers of the government of the state of Alabama shall Three dis

tinct depart. be divided into three distinct departments; and each of them confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.

Sec. 2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of those Persons bedepartments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of one not to in

the others.

terfere with the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or



Two branch es.

how chosen.

by law.

tion of members.

Of electors.

Legislative Department.
Sec. 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in two

distinct branches: the one to be styled the senate, the other the house Style oflaws. of representatives, and both together “ The General Assembly of the

State of Alabama;” and the style of their laws shall be, “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Ala

bama, in General Assembly convened.” Members, Sec. 2. The members of the house of representatives shall be cho

sen by the qualified electors, and shall serve for the term of one year, from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no

longer. Election, Sec. 3. The representatives shall be chosen every year, on the when held. first Monday and the day following in August, until otherwise directed Qualifica. Sec. 4. No person shall be a representative unless he be a white

man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county, city, or town, for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.

Sec. 5. Every white male person of the age of twenty-one years, or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this state one year next preceding an election, and the last three months within the county, city, or town, in whiclı he offers to vote, shall be deemed a qualified elector; provided, that no soldier, seaman, or marine, in the regular army or navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at any election in this state ; and provided, also, that no elector shall be entitled to vote except in the county, city, or town (entitled to separate representation) in which he may

reside at the time of the election. Electors' pri Sec. 6. Electors shall, in all cases, except in those of treason, felony, vileges.

or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attend

ance at elections, and in going to and returning from the same. Elections by Sec. 7. In all elections by the people, the electors shall vote by

ballot, until the general assembly shall otherwise direct. Elections, Sec. 8. Elections for representatives for the several counties shall · where held.

be held at the place of holding their respective courts, and at such Separate re other places as may be prescribed by law; provided, that when it presentation

shall appear to the general assembly that any city or town shall have a number of white inhabitants equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall have a separate representation, according to the number of white inhabitants therein ; which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of white inhabitants equal to the ratio which may from time to time be fixed by law; and thereafter, and during the existence of the right of separate representation, in such city or town, elections for the county in which such city or town (enlitled to such separate representation) is situated, shall not be held in such city or town; but it is understood, and hereby declared, that no city or town shall be entitled to separate representation, unless the number of white inhabitants in the county in which such city or town is situated, residing out of the limits of said city or town, be equal to

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of cities or towns.

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the existing ratio ; or unless the residuum or fraction of such city or Residuum, town shall, when added to the white inhabitants of the county residing b.

how disposed out of the limits of said city or town, be equal to the ratio fixed by law for one representative; and provided, that, if the residuum or Proviso. fraction of any city or town, entitled to separate representation, shall, when added to the residuum of the county in which it may lic, be equal to the ratio fixed by law for one representative, then the aforesaid county, city, or town, having the largest residuum, shall be entitled to such representation : and provided also, that when there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums or fractions over and above the ratio then fixed by law, if said residuums or fractions, when added together, will amount to such ratio, in that case one representative shall be added to that county having the largest residuum.

Sec. 9. The general assembly shall, at their first meeting, and in Enumerathe years one thousand eight hundred and twenty, one thousand eight and how hundred and twenty-three, one thousand eight hundred and twenty- taken. six, and every six years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the inhabitants of the state, and the whole number of the repre- Apportionsentatives shall, at the first session held, after making every such enu

presentation. meration, be fixed by the general assembly, and apportioned among the several counties, cities, or towns, entitled to separate representation, according to their respective numbers of white inhabitants; and the said apportionment, when made, shall not be subject to alteration, un til after the next census shall be taken. The house of representa-General Astives shall not consist of less than forty-four, nor more than sixty members, until the number of white inhabitants shall be one hundred thousand, and after that event, the whole number of representatives shall never be less than sixty, nor more than one hundred; provided, however, that each county shall be entitled to at least one representative.

Sec. 10. The general assembly shall, at the first session after making Senate apevery such enumeration, fix by law the whole number of senators, and

portioned. shall divide the state into the same number of districts, as nearly equal in the number of white inhabitants as may be, each of which districts shall be entitled to one senator and no more; provided, that the whole number of senators shall never be less than one-fourth, nor more than one-third, of the whole number of representatives.

Sec. 11. When a senatorial district shall be composed of two or Senatorial more counties, the counties of which such district consists shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district; and no county shall be divided in forming a district.

Sec. 12. Senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors, for the Senators, term of three years, at the same time, in the same manner, and at the same places, where they may vote for members of the house of

representatives; and no person shall be a senator unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained to the age of twenty-seven years.

Sec. 13. The senators chosen according to the apportionment under Classificathe census ordered to be taken in one thousand eight hundred and tion of sena. twenty-six, when convened, shall be divided by lot into three classes, as nearly equal as may be. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, those of the second class at the expiration of the second year, and those of the third class at the expiration of the third year, so that one-third may be annu


how chosen. Term of ser vice.

Qualifica tions.


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